Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

About the journal

Families, Relationships and Societies (FRS) is a vibrant social science journal advancing scholarship and debates in the field of families and relationships. It explores family life, relationships and generational issues across the life course. Bringing together a range of social science perspectives, with a strong policy and practice focus, it is also strongly informed by sociological theory and the latest methodological approaches. The title 'Families, Relationships and Societies' encompasses the fluidity, complexity and diversity of contemporary social and personal relationships and their need to be understood in the context of different societies and cultures.

International and comprehensive in scope, FRS covers a range of theoretical, methodological and substantive issues, from large scale trends, processes of social change and social inequality to the intricacies of family practices. It welcomes scholarship based on theoretical, qualitative or quantitative analysis. High quality research and scholarship is accepted across a wide range of issues. Examples include family policy, changing relationships between personal life, work and employment, shifting meanings of parenting, issues of care and intimacy, the emergence of digital friendship, shifts in transnational sexual relationships, effects of globalising and individualising forces and the expansion of alternative ways of doing family. Encouraging methodological innovation, and seeking to present work on all stages of the life course, the journal welcomes explorations of relationships and families in all their different guises and across different societies.

Articles and contributions are drawn from a number of disciplines and subject areas including sociology, social policy, social work, childhood studies, demography, youth studies, family studies, gender studies, ageing and gerontology, health and social care, education, psychology, social history, socio-legal studies, politics, criminology, and psycho-social studies.

The applied focus of the journal embraces a diverse global field and encourage a critical engagement with policy and practice developments and issues within and across welfare regimes.

Open Space

Co-editors: Esther Dermott and Tina Miller

The Open Space section of the Journal Families, Relationships and Societies offers a unique opportunity to consider facets of family lives, relationships and societies from unexpected and novel (including non-academic) perspectives. It offers a dynamic space for critical engagement with contemporary debates, policy and practice initiatives, empirical research and recent publications in the fields of families, relationships and societies. It has the ability to respond quickly to current issues and include new and/or under-represented voices and stories in shorter pieces and through visual and other innovative methods.

Open Space encourages dialogue with a broader community than usually found in academic journals and presents alternative perspectives and insights. Contributions to this section are invited from all subject and disciplinary areas and can explore any topic that falls within the key themes of the journal. Articles can take a wide variety of formats from debates, review articles, policy or practice overviews, or other ways of engaging with the journal’s themes.

Submissions range between 1-5,000 words and can be single submissions or grouped around a theme: all require a 75-word abstract. Please contact the Open Space editors to discuss the area and format of potential contributions, Esther Dermott (Esther.Dermott@bristol.ac.uk) and Tina Miller (tamiller@brookes.ac.uk).


What people are saying about Families, Relationships and Societies

"Families, Relationships, and Societies fills an important niche, providing a forum as dynamic as families themselves to enhance our understanding of the vitality and complexity of relationships today."
Jessica L. Collett, University of Notre Dame, USA

"Relate welcomes the launch of Families, Relationships and Societies. Relationship formation, functioning and dissolution are central events in people’s lives, and it is crucial that we advance our understanding of changes. We expect this journal to be of great use to policy makers, and to practice-based organisations like ours."
Baroness Claire Tyler, CEO, Relate

"Across the world, family practices and ways of ‘doing’ family are undergoing profound changes. This welcome addition to the field will open up new avenues for international scholarship; counter the stereotype that 'family is primarily about parenting’; and challenge us to think critically about the changing relationship between families and the state. It is also refreshing —and timely — to see older people placed centre stage in these considerations."
Professor Miriam Bernard, Director, Centre for Social Gerontology, Keele University and President, the British Society of Gerontology

"Intimate relations - within or outside the family institution - are characterized by dramatic changes as well as by a surprising continuity. This makes the area a hot topic for both research and politics and a foundation for the renewed interest in family research and politics. The new journal Families, Relationships and Societies is a most welcome venue for all of us interested in how 'we do, or could do,' intimate relations and families. "
Karin Widerberg, University of Oslo, Norway

"This timely journal will provide an essential locus for work on contemporary family relationships. At last there is the space to create a critical mass of work in this important field."
Carol Smart, Professor of Sociology, The Morgan Centre, University of Manchester, UK